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Ready Steady Bake: Roaring 20s

The “Roaring 20s” refers to the decade when Jazz was the “in thing”, the flapper dress brought a whole new look for women, and Art Deco came into fashion. It was a time of economic prosperity for much of Western Europe and the US.

In the culinary world, things were also getting better post-war. Research was being done into vitamins, leading to more fruits, vegetables and milk being consumed. Technology was catching up – meaning farmers were able to produce more, and thanks to the process of canning foods (perfected during World War I) it made access to this food more widespread and accessible throughout the year.

One ingredient that made a bit of a surge during this time was canned pineapple, bringing to the forefront an absolute classic of a pud. A recipe for pineapple upside-down cake was first mentioned in food magazines in the early 1920s, and it quickly took kitchens by storm.

A Healthy Twist

In our healthy twist this week, we are recommending a few simple switches. One of the main ones is that instead of using golden syrup on the base, you use agave nectar. This is an excellent substitute as it has the added advantage of being nutritious (refined sugar certainly isn’t). It is also low GI, but the best part is that it’s much sweeter than sugar, so you can use less.

Healthy Pineapple Upside-down Cake*

20s Pinapple Upside Down Cake


  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 150g fat free greek yogurt
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Good pinch of allspice
  • 3tbsp agave nectar
  • 6 pineapple rings (tinned in juice)
  • 6 fresh raspberries


Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease and then line the base and sides of a 23cm diameter cake tin with baking paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, yogurt, sugar, eggs, lime zest and juice and allspice until it’s a light and fluffy cake batter.

Drizzle the agave nectar over the base of the cake tin. Add the pineapple rings and pop a raspberry in the middle of each one. Spoon the cake mixture on top and smooth it over.

Bake it for 20–25 minutes until the sponge is springy to touch, or when a knife comes out clean. Whilst it is still hot, run a knife around the sides to make sure it isn’t stuck. Put a plate over the top of the tin, then quickly and carefully flip it upside-down.  Peel off the baking paper, adding any escaping syrup to the top of the cake. Cut it into slices and serve hot – preferably with custard (low fat, of course).

We hope you enjoy making this recipe – perhaps one to share with the kids or grandkids. If you take any pictures, we’d love to see them; please share them with us on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.

*Please note, the image used here is from stock photography. For a link to the original recipe and their picture, please click here.

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